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The Health Benefits of Digging in the Dirt

By May 3, 2023November 1st, 2023No Comments
While it always feels good to check off boxes on the to do list, gardening has more to offer than most other chores. A number of scientific studies on the effects of gardening, sometimes called horticultural therapy, have reported health outcomes including improved mental health.
One meta-analysis of the research, published in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports, found that gardening has a wide range of health outcomes including reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community. Results of another study showed that gardening increased life satisfaction, vigor, psychological wellbeing, and cognitive function. Further research on gardening found it improved life satisfaction and mood.
Digging in the dirt really does lift your spirits. The digging stirs up microbes in the soil. Inhaling these microbes can stimulate serotonin production, which can make you feel relaxed and happier.
This is great news since about 117 million people in the U.S. already spend time keeping a domestic or community garden, which is an allotment that individuals or groups can rent to participate in gardening. So next time you need a boost, remember to just go outside and play in the dirt.
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